Pharisees in the hot seat (Matt 23:1-4)

Today, we begin a short series in Matthew chapter 23. It’s the start of Jesus’ fifth and final block of teaching in Matthew’s Gospel. (Is that significant? Probably. Throughout the Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as “Moses 2.0” – you might remember his first block of teaching was up on a mountain, just like Moses – and Moses was traditionally held to be the author of the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.) And in this chapter, the whole “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” stereotype gets blown up, as Jesus straps on an ammo belt full of home truths and trains his guns on the Pharisees, as he becomes… The Sermonator.

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